April Goals and March Wins

This year, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's book, I've been doing a Happiness Project, focusing on one important aspect of my life every month. Last month my goals centered around career, while April's focus is parenting. The idea is that the months should build on one another and the habits formed in one month should continue into the next and so on. Each month I share my wins from the previous month, as well as goals that fit the theme of the current month.

{march wins}

As I mentioned, last month my intention was to focus on my career. I have to say that this is probably the most challenging focus for me. On her podcast, Jess Lively talks about the idea of having "resistance" around a topic and how that resistance can block growth. Career is definitely an area where I have a lot of resistance, and it's something I'm trying to better understand so that I can let go of it. I think this could be a blog post in itself, but I have always struggled to find a career path, and so far I haven't ever had a job that felt "right" to me. Because this happiness project is ongoing, I hope to continue to work on finding peace with my current career situation, as well as take steps toward a path that is more reflective of my strengths and passions. Here are a few wins I had for March.

- Completed my MLS application for summer admission. As I've mentioned, I hope to re-enroll in the Library Science program I started right before I had Jona. If everything goes through I will be taking an online class or two this summer.

- Applied for several jobs.  I've been checking local library websites regularly for new job postings, and applying to a variety of jobs. So far I haven't had much luck with call-backs, but I'm going to continue to put myself out there.

- Worked smarter at my current job. I made an effort to stop procrastinating those necessary yet joyless tasks so that my task list isn't taunting me with those annoying not-done items. I also tried to streamline my day and focus my time on things that are true priorities.

- Read The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. This isn't necessarily career-related, but I figured learning more about my tendency (Upholder) as well as others it would make me a better employee and colleague. This is also our two-person book club book this month, and I'll share my thoughts about it on Monday's book review post.

{non-career-related wins}

- I read 8 books in March. It hasn't been intentional, but that's been my number for the past few months.

- I (finally) bought a photo album and started printing photos for my 2018 album. I'd like to go back and add some notes and embellishments, but at least I have a start!

- Got a much-needed haircut. 

- Had a date night in with Aaron. We watched 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. That movie was... intense. I can't say that it was for me, but I do think Frances McDormand did an excellent job in it.

- Had a day off to spend with just Violet. Since I'm able to work from home at my job, usually when I have to stay home with one of the kids unexpectedly I just bring my laptop home. However, a few weeks ago when I knew Violet's daycare provider was going to be off, I took the day to spend some time with just her. It was fun! We went to Target and stopped for a little snack at Panera, and I indulged in a little snooze during her nap-time as well.

- Dyed Easter eggs with Jona. This was the first time we've dyed eggs, because I never wanted to deal with the mess when he was younger. There was of course some mess, but it was fun. We just did a simple dye kit and wrote on a few eggs with crayon, and it was perfect for Jona's first egg-dyeing experience.

{april goals: focus on parenting}

- Acknowledge Jona and Violet's feelings. I started listening to Unruffled, a parenting podcast, when Jona was around 2, and I found it helpful especially during the VERY challenging time that was age 3. I haven't listened to it as much since, but I can already tell that Violet will be even more of a challenge when it comes to behavior. One thing I learned from that podcast is the importance of acknowledging your child's feelings. It's something that sounds simple and really does make a difference, yet it can be so hard to do in the moment. I could do a better job of empathizing, rather than yelling or sighing in frustration, when Jona is truly heartbroken that we can't go to Target and buy more legos TODAY or when Violet throws her shoe across the room because I take her hand out of the cheerio box when I'm trying to cook dinner. #realproblems

- Organize paperwork and keepsakes. Remember when I talked about creating our command center? Well, that pile of papers that used to accumulate on our kitchen counter has taken up residence atop the command center. I got my countertops back, but I still have a giant pile of papers to deal with. I need to create a better system for dealing with kids' school papers and keepsakes so that they don't continue to pile up.

- Plan regular weekend outings and activities. Weekends always feel so short, and we often get into the habit of doing the same thing every weekend. However, I'd like a little more variety in my weekend-life. There are so many fun, inexpensive things to do with kids in Kansas City, and especially now that it's (hopefully SOON) getting warmer I'll be able to take advantage of those. Jona and I do a lot of baking on weekends, which we both enjoy, but I'd like to try some other projects as well.

- Be more present. The other day I made Jona stop playing a lego game on Aaron's iPad, and he asked me why he needed to stop. I was telling him that too much time in front of a screen is bad for your brain, and I realized that as I was telling him that I had my laptop open in my lap and my phone right next to me. Talk about being a hypocrite! I realize that if I want to enforce screen time limits for him I need to model those boundaries for myself as well. It's hard because I do work at home, and need to use a laptop or phone, two days a week, but I could do a better job of taking more breaks to just play, or putting my phone away after work and before their bedtimes. I don't want to miss things because I'm scrolling Instagram.

- Read Siblings Without Rivalry. I mentioned in my Currently post that I started this book because Jona and Violet's relationship is very important to me. I never had brothers and sisters growing up, so my perspective is very limited. I've already learned a lot and I'm only a couple of chapters in!

What are your goals this month?

Linking with Coffee Until Cocktails and Feel Good Dress Better.

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